karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

How do you change your world? One word at a time, one heart at a time

Archive for the month “April, 2019”

ps… tell Peter

I don’t know about you but even tho I love all the disciples in a completely different way, I can soooo relate to Peter. I too am prone to foot-in-mouth, and have been known to compromise my value system a time or two. I can be indecisive, impetuous, and fiercely loyal. But not necessarily violent.

It’s encouraging for me to know that even when I blow it big time, my Father is bigger than my failure. That I can still be a trophy of His grace. That on the other side of mess-ups is forgiveness. That it’s never too late to make a brand new start. That His Plan B can work out better than Plan A ever would, if I’d simply been obedient. I guess that’s part of what makes Him God.

What’s your “if” today! Your biggest dread that you think you can never overcome? I’m a big fan of the ‘what if’ game. I try to imagine what would happen if… the worst, or the best, manifested in my life. Does that change the Ancient of Days? The One who knit me together in my mother’s womb, Who knew I would be born dead, yet still had plans for me, plans I could not even begin to fathom?

Ddm (dear darling man) has something he likes to repeat often, a throwback from his army days – “I’ve been shot, stabbed, and left for dead twice; what are you gonna do to me?” The Kari-fied version of that would be, “Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? I’ve read the back of the book! I’m on the winning side!” He brought me back to life at birth, before I even had the chance to live: there is truly nothing impossible with our God. He truly is ‘the air I breathe.’

What if “it” ends on a cross? In suffering, and senseless death? It doesn’t. What the world calls failure is simply the door to a new beginning. Peter should know. Jesus basically told him, “Meet Me at Galilee,” Matthew 16.17. Why? Jesus knew he’d go back to his old ways, and probably thought, “get all your fishin’ out, bro – I’m gonna need you…” This gives me hope.

Are you in a hard place today? When you look around, is all you see broken dreams? Been there. Many times. Does your story end here? In fear? I think not. Fear is never the end. Sunday’s a’comin’.

Kari, the sometimes-Peter

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The Pen Test

I’ve always been a people-watcher, ever since I can remember. I just never connected it with the Bible. I did two days ago. The more I think on the experience, the more profound the lesson becomes.

I’ve worked for a lot of people in a whole lot of different countries, towns, and cultures, and for some reason God has seen fit to show me through many of them how NOT to treat people. I’ve talked with Him caboodles of times about this approach but apparently it seems that’s how He thinks I learn life’s lessons best.

As of three days ago I started working for an older man with a real estate business. He is one of the most humble men I’ve ever met, and has proven to be a true gentleman in all his dealings with me so far. I only met him two weeks ago but I don’t see his attitude changing. I know everything we do as Christ followers is an assignment, so I was excited to learn wisdom from a man who entered a field right after World War II that I have always been interested in. It appears I’m learning more than I bargained for.

On my second day my boss asked me to take meeting minutes as he met with two men: Donnie, a construction business owner, and David, an attorney. I have a habit, as I said, of watching people, and when I see behavior patterns it tells me more about them than they realize. Donnie, the construction business owner, arrived on time but my boss was running a little late.

Donnie made it quite clear he had no respect whatsoever for ‘the secretary’, and I don’t blame him – most folks don’t. He also made it clear he had better things to do than to wait for 10 minutes for my boss to arrive so he left. He has now told me two things about himself.

My boss arrived, and then the attorney, David. Donnie arrived about 5 minutes later. David was as gracious as could be when I offered him coffee, and thanked me multiple times. Donnie demanded a pen. Third lesson learned.

The meeting took roughly an hour, and they all shook hands. Again David thanked me for the coffee. Donnie started to put my pen, the one I had bought with my own money, in his pocket. I didn’t realize at the time it was a test but I reached out my hand for it, thinking he’d forgotten it wasn’t his. He glared at me. I couldn’t help uttering a shocked, “you want to keep it?”

Forgive me but I was raised in a house where you treat everyone with respect. Even the secretary. I was also raised to believe you don’t demand things, or take things that aren’t yours. Hence my surprise. His response was a rather sarcastic “may I?”

Two more lessons learned. You expect strangers to give you things they own, (or you assume it’s company-owned and therefor available to you permanently), and you challenge them when they ask it to be returned.

During the meeting my boss told Donnie several times that he would, “take good care of” Donnie on this land deal. I don’t know exactly what that means but it’s coming from a man who knows he’s worth 4 mill. So I have an idea.

My boss may never ask my thoughts on the guy, but I know I can’t trust him with my pen so there’s no way I’d trust him with my money.

Proverbs 11 verse 3 in the International Standard Version says that the integrity of the upright (in right standing with God) will guide them, but the hypocrisy of the treacherous destroys them (emphasis mine). The CEV defines the last part as “trapped by your own dishonesty”, and other versions use the words ‘fruitless’ and ‘transgressors’ rather than ‘treacherous’. Either way you slice it I see a very bleak picture. And yet another way I don’t want to treat people.

Your thoughts?

Kari, the flawed-but-guided-by-integrity gal

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

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